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“Try Night at the Museum!”

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
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$72.00*
and up
Hollywood Explorer Pass
Ranked #17 of 596 things to do in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Discover your world past and present. See dinosaurs in our new Dinosaur Hall, including the world’s only Tyrannosaurus rex growth series. Get the behind- the- scenes look at how scientists work on fossils at our Dino Lab. See 240 specimens, including skeletons from mastodons to whales, animal dioramas from North American and Africa, and more.Stroll through our extensive Nature Gardens, and discover true stories about plants and animals in our Nature Lab. See and touch more than 2,000 spectacular specimens displayed in our Gem and Mineral Hall, and enter into the vault to view diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and other exquisite gems. Our Butterfly and Spider Pavilions are open seasonally. Here you can wander through the changing ecosystem with over 30 species of fluttering butterflies all around you, or witness arachnids up close and personal.
Reviewed May 19, 2013

We attended a Night at the Museum event at the L.A. Natural History Museum last summer. It was the best possible way to see the museum! When you first arrive, you put your belongings (sleeping bag, air mattress, etc.) in one of the Halls -- we were in the Hall of African Mammals next to the elephants -- and sign in. You're assigned to one of four groups, so that everyone can enjoy the four evening's events in smaller subsets.

The kids made plaster casts of trilobytes and allosaur claws, did a scavenger hunt for information in the dinosaur exhibit, got a close-up visit with a millipede, and had a mini-lecture about some of the dinosaur items on display. Partway through there was a snack break, then lights out.

One of the best parts was that after breakfast the next morning, we could explore the entire museum before it opened! We encountered only a few people before opening time, and enjoyed having all the exhibits to ourselves. Later in the day it became quite crowded, and we appreciated our private time there even more.

They keep the kids up rather late for such a young audience (ours were 7 and 8 at the time, and they were up well past their bedtime, yawning through the last program). Still, it was a great learning experience and a very cool feeling seeing the dinosaur bones in the lobby from the darkened hall where we slept!

1  Thank moonunit999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"dinosaur hall"
in 37 reviews
"t rex"
in 34 reviews
"rose garden"
in 50 reviews
"butterfly pavilion"
in 29 reviews
"gems and minerals"
in 26 reviews
"dinosaur bones"
in 23 reviews
"stuffed animals"
in 17 reviews
"mineral collection"
in 10 reviews
"mummy exhibit"
in 10 reviews
"love dinosaurs"
in 10 reviews
"expo line"
in 10 reviews
"california science center"
in 21 reviews
"great for kids"
in 17 reviews
"all ages"
in 36 reviews
"great exhibits"
in 15 reviews
"the la brea tar pits"
in 17 reviews
"on display"
in 21 reviews
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659 - 663 of 1,109 reviews

Reviewed May 17, 2013

. . . and they're grown up and married! They know every exhibit in the place. We've been visiting here since 1986, when our first child was born, and we all still visit regularly. My younger daughter, a Chemistry doctoral candidate at CalTech, volunteers here in educational outreach, and my older girl very nearly got a job here recently as a gallery interpreter. That's the impact this place has had, and continues to have.

Thank ladarnton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013 via mobile

I coupled my visit to the Science Centre with a visit to the museum as its in the same complex. It was a good display and my 5yo son (who thinks dinosaurs are still alive) loved the exhibit of them.

Thank MissMinelli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

I went on a Monday, which I thought might be less highly trafficked, but guess again - hundreds of schoolkids were there on class trips. They were adorable and mostly I was fine with them being there (except one group which seemed unchaperoned)... However, one thing to know: Most of the surfaces in this museum are concrete or marble and any noise at all gets magnified greatly. Multiply that by hundreds of schoolkids, all excited to be looking at dinosaurs with their friends, and, well, I've been to quieter rock concerts. Seriously. It was just pretty distracting to be trying to focus on the material while trying to tune out the noise. Also, they should do something about the kids running - that just isn't safe and on a couple of occasions I thought I was going to witness an accident, as falling on hard marble can break bones.

On the upside, there's a lot of great fossil material and I particularly enjoyed the prehistoric paintings by Charles Knight. The Butterfly Garden was quite nice and not overcrowded or loud. Loved seeing the beautiful insects in a natural setting.

The fossil collection is very nearly as good as that at Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman - for my money the best dinosaur collection on the face of the Earth - and since I'm a paleohistory buff I was glad to see a lot of the current thinking on dinos was up to date (they are ancestors of birds, in many cases they had feathers, etc.) The curation was excellent, with explanations of where things are found.

Definitely worth a visit, the lawn outside is gorgeous, too. Very friendly staff. The gift shop was amazing, bought some super-cute jewelry I'll wear to pieces. I'll be back!

1  Thank DivemistressofthDark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 10, 2013

Lots of bones and history about Dinisaures that lived in the local area. We spent around 2hours here and personally didn't really think it was worth the money. We also had lunch here which was typical American food and ok.

If yo live dinosaurs then come here. Great displays. Building very nice as well.

Thank whistle007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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